Get It Right the First Time
Before creating a document for any project, I recommend using as many client interaction techniques as possible.
One interaction method I've used with success is to simply create a Web site where I post screen shots of a layout, and the client gives feedback via e-mail until they're satisfied.
Another technique is to send clients an editable PDF file. This keeps the font styles, layout and pictures intact. Some other client interaction choices:
• Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format)
A must-have for any designer. As a part of the workflow, PDF is invaluable to reducing file size and increasing portability. Like an EPS file, the PDF file contains embedded printing information, such as fonts and images, so supplemental files aren't needed. The PDF file is also compressed, using lossless compression. This means the size of the resulting file is reduced up to 80% of EPS, while maintaining 100% of the visual fidelity. The result: The production department sees a reduction in the total time required for ripping files.
• JDF (Job Definition Format)
JDF is an XML-based proposed industry standard for end-to-end job ticket specifications. It also includes a message description standard and message interchange protocol. JDF is designed to streamline information exchange between different applications and systems. It's intended to enable the entire publishing industry, including media, design, graphic arts, on-demand and e-commerce companies to get their disparate workflow solutions to work together, easily. Products from diverse software and hardware vendors that support the JDF will seamlessly work together. Already many software and hardware vendors have announced support for the JDF. As such, expect to see the JDF flourish in a few years.
• Real-Time Proofing
Real Time Image's Real Time Proof is a fantastic platform that lets clients access proofs, make changes, and communicate to designers in real-time, over the Web. It's a great time saver, and lets people access their proofs from anywhere in the world, using nothing more than a Web browser. Just upload content that needs to be proofed to a secure server. Clients then log on, view the proofs, and make any comments using slick Web-based editing tools. When the client's done, a message is sent to the designer, letting them know the content has been updated. Interested publishers should run to the company's Web site and check out the free trial.